Oh, the Maybach brand! Remember when Mercedes-Benz relaunched it as its Rolls-Royce in 2002, only to lose a ton of money because seemingly nobody cared? Well, after the Maybach 57 and 62 were both killed off in 2012, Mercedes gave it another go, bringing the name back in 2015 as a sub-brand positioned above the top of the Mercedes range. And now, Daimler says one in every ten vehicles sold in the S-Class segment wears a Mercedes-Maybach badge. That's not bad, given that Maybach only offered variants of the S-Class sedan and the S 650 cabrio ... up until the arrival of this: the G 650 Landaulet.
The last time a Maybach was this capable off-road, Germany was invading Poland, but this G 650 Landaulet is more of a toy than a tank. Mercedes quietly discontinued the open-top G Wagen roughly three years ago, and while the AMG G63 6x6 was an absolute masterpiece, it only had a twin-turbo V8 under the hood, where clearly there's room for four more cylinders. Therefore, humanity needed a long-wheelbase version with an electric soft-top and a twin-turbo V12. Frankly, it was the logical step forward.
The 22.75 inches added to the wheelbase (now 135 inches) allowed Mercedes to fit the G 65 Landaulet with individual rear captain's chairs, wrapped in the finest calf leather and able to fully recline. are held gently in place on any terrain by inflatable air chambers, while heated massage programs take care of their tense muscles. It's S-Class time in the G, and if the party gets even wilder, the electrically operated glass partition can be changed from transparent to opaque at the press of a button:
While the heated and cooled cupholders, the fancy seats, the premium stereo, the high-resolution displays and the entire open top experience all sound fun, it's not like the G65 Landaulet's driver will get bored. He or she will have 630 horsepower and 737 ft.-lb. of torque to play with, and 17.7 inches of ground clearance thanks to the portal axles. Like all G Wagens, this open-top bruiser has three locking differentials and a shift-on-the-fly low range. And let's not forget about the side pipes—the G 65 Landaulet is a riot front, rear, and on both sides.
Limited to just 99 units, production starts in Graz, Austria this autumn. If you can't wait that long, go and spec a private jet while you wait—because while Mercedes hasn't announced a price, we're assuming it'll be even more costly than the $500,000- G 63 AMG 6x6.
Cool? Sure. But you know what's even cooler? The frozen 2018 G Wagen: